I've given up! I normally send out about 150 Christmas cards, but I only got about half done this year. I thought about doing New Year cards, but it didn't happen. I'm pretty sure Valentine cards won't happen either. So, I'm posting the Christmas letter here to make myself feel a little better. This was our year in a nutshell (a rather large nut I realize, but it is getting harder and harder to boil a year of our life down to a one page Christmas letter).
The family began a "through the Bible in a year" reading program.
Hannah finished up her basketball season.
Angie's sub license expired.
Hannah and Sarah participated in a calcium study for three weekends at Purdue
Hannah, Sarah, and Nathan participated in Drama Camp with the homeschool group.
Nathan played baseball for Mac's Express.
Hannah and Sarah earned the Steadfast Award for achieving gold level in Olympians six years in a row.
The kids attended VBS at First Landmark Baptist Church.
Esther and Hannah participated in the Kokomo Kids Try-athlon again this year.
The six oldest kids ran in the Coyote Kids races in the park on Thursday nights.
We camped out with Angie's family at the Grayless house over the July 4th weekend (using our new pop-up camper--a gift from Steve's parents).
Another 4-H season is completed!
The family went to Twin Lakes Camp - Steve was camp pastor for the week and Nathan was a camper.
Angie's roommate from Cedarville, Jolyn, and her family visited from New Hampshire.
We redeemed some reading certificates for a "free" trip to Six Flags near Chicago.
Esther attended Squirt Camp at Twin Lakes.
Hannah and Sarah attended Jr. High camp at Twin Lakes.
After a 9-month battle, Dana Browning (a good friend from church) went to heaven.
Hannah and Sarah attended Word of Life Camp in Schroon Lake, New York.
Hannah played Jr. High KASH volleyball and Sarah played Elementary KASH volleyball. Sarah won the award for best server, and Hannah's team came in second in the homeschool tournament.
Hannah and Sarah started flute lessons again.
Steve's college friend, Brian, visited with his family.
Sarah's choir traveled to Lafayette for a special training and performance.
2010 Family Vacation This year's vacation was at the end of August and first of September. We started by picking up Hannah and Sarah at Word of Life Camp in New York, camping with Angie's aunt, uncle and cousins along the way. Two days in Philadelphia (Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross house, Franklin Square)Two days in New York City (Staten Island Ferry, Wall Street, China Town, Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, Grant's Tomb & Time Square--during the day and later at night!) The kids all loved the NYC MTA--the subway & bus-- and Angie was just thrilled to make it out of the city with all 7 kids!We spent three nights camping near the ocean in New Jersey at Sea-Pirate Campground.We visited 3 Civil War Battle Fields (Antietam, Harper's Ferry & Gettysburg) and Valley Forge. Just for Angie, Steve took us to Hershey, PA for the "chocolate" tour.
2010 at the Gollner House
Steve *Daddy's schedule has picked up even more this year as the building project at church has demanded a lot more of his time. He still volunteers at the Kokomo Rescue Mission on Friday mornings and preaches in the chapel service once a month. He also spends every free Saturday working on the church addition. During the week, he teaches the lessons on Wed. night to both the Olympians and the teens, leads a Thursday night Bible study, and teaches the teen class in Sunday School, and helps with youth group on Sunday nights . . . oh, and preaches too! He is also the treasurer for our KASH (home school) group. This year he is reading the Left Behind series to Hannah and Sarah and leading the family in our reading through the Bible.
Angie *I'm sure it goes without saying that mommy is very busy, but I'll say it anyway! Mommy is extremely busy! Most days are filled with teaching her five students, cleaning, disciplining, managing the home, cooking, and running kids to various activities. She still teaches a 3rd and 4th grade Sunday School class but only helps with the Gopher Buddies on Wed. nights now instead of being the administrator. The family hosts youth group, church activities, and KASH events regularly, which adds a little extra excitement to the schedule. Her hobbies include facebook, reading, cooking, sewing and crocheting . . . NOT mudding drywall.
Hannah *In three short months, Hannah will be a teenager, and she is growing and changing almost every day. This year we have noticed a big change in her desire to "be cool" in all she does. She still loves to be active and plays basketball and volleyball. She really wishes she could run cross-country, but IN doesn't allow home schoolers to play IHSAA sports, so Coyote Kids and the Try-althlon fill that slot right now. Not only did she win first place in the Try-athlon this year, but she was first in all three (swimming, biking, running) categories. She has played piano for almost four years (although she is ready to end this phase of her life) and has kinda played the flute for two years. She still has spelling and reading issues, but she has made tremendous progress over the last few years. In 4-H this year she took the following projects and received the following awards: shooting sports - trophy for rifle and honor for poster, personality - grand champion and blue at state fair, sewing - blue, bicycle - honor, garden - champion
Sarah *Our little singer is also growing up way too quickly. She is now in her second year with the Kokomo Children's Choir and enjoys it very much. She sings a lot at church and at home (just ask Hannah). She has played piano for almost three years and the flute for two years. She still loves to read and cook, but isn't crazy about getting her school done. In 4-H this year she received the following: crochet- honor, foods - blue, microwave cooking - honor, make with a mix - blue , sewing - blue. She enjoyed an almost perfect season in volleyball again this year and will move up to junior high volleyball next year.
Nathan *He has taken on "man's" work this year in helping daddy with chores and on the church addition. He completed his 3rd season of baseball playing third base quite a bit for his team this year (which was mommy's base for those with really good memories). He has played piano for almost two years and is plugging his way (reluctantly) through the third grade this year. He is Hannah's little "project" as far as being cool goes, but he's a stubborn Gollner boy and just prefers to dress the way he wants to dress! He practiced with the elementary boys basketball team just a bit in the summer, and is looking forward to playing next year.
Esther *She is really enjoying second grade this year. She often works ahead and will probably complete her books early in May (and certainly start those third grade books right away). She started piano lessons in January and has made great progress. She really likes to cook with mommy and thinks everything mommy makes is wonderful. She worked really hard on her swimming this summer so she could complete her try-athlon with no life jacket. She has really taken grandma and grandpa's divorce really hard and talks about it a lot.
Noah *He started Kindergarten this year, took his school books on vacation, and is almost done with his books for the year. He is our little "flipper" who hardly ever just walks across a room without jumping, rolling or running. He is reading pretty well, but he would probably be reading even better if learning to read didn't require sitting in one place for more than 10 minutes at a time.
Joshua *This big guy finally potty trained this year. He loves to read books and play with swords (or anything remotely resembling the shape of a sword like sticks, wood, metal bars, etc.). He finally moved up to the boys room this fall.
Ruth *Our little baby isn't a baby any more! She tries to do everything her siblings do. She talks quite a bit (when strangers aren't around) and is very much loved by all her brothers and sisters!
Mary *Due to arrive on March 20th, but Hannah really wants her to be born at exactly the same time she was, which would be March 19th at 8:25am.
Joshua after mommy called him pumpkin pie: "I not your pumpkin [pause] I not your watermelon"
Joshua after mommy ran the garbage disposal: "I not like that song."
Noah: "You need to ask the daddy because he knows more than the mommy."
Angie: "Why is that?"
Noah: "The bigger you get, the more you know, so the daddy knows more."
Noah (after mommy told him not to cook a hot dog in the microwave because she was cooking one on the stove): "What is a stove?"
Anonymous (to protect the not so innocent): "Grandmas are known for not so good fashions."
Hannah (after Angie said Nathan lookedlike Opie Taylor): "NO! Opie doesn't wear his pants up to his chest."
Esther: "Noah, God didn't have to send His word in a Bible. He could have sent a notebook, or a highchair, or a desk with His words on it, but He sent a book."
Sarah: "Mom, dad is singing out of tune again."